Pompey new-boy out to prove he’s the right man

Danny East during training. Picture: Sarah Standing (131975-2113)
Danny East during training. Picture: Sarah Standing (131975-2113)
The Fratton faithful. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Danny East is bracing himself for a right-back head-to-head as Pompey’s team plans begin to become clearer.

Admittedly, it is still early days in pre-season – but the emergence of the 21-year-old as a genuine contender to Yassin Moutaouakil has been noticeable.

The Hull recruit shared duties with last season’s regular right-back in the opening two friendly fixtures, impressing in the process.

Tough in the tackle with a willingness to attack down that right flank, the energetic East has made an instant impact.

He displayed his versatility by occupying a central midfield role in the goalless draw at Braintree on Tuesday night.

But it is at right-back which remains his likely position – where he will lock horns with Moutaouakil for a starting spot on August 3.

He said: ‘I am going to put 100 per cent in.

‘No matter where I play I will do that, hopefully I will do well and put a few questions in the manager’s head.

‘I think I’ve done well at right-back this pre-season but we will just have to see.

‘Yassin is a good player, very quick and I have got respect for him. We get along well.

‘I have not come across him before but I know he has done quite well for the club and is a nice lad.

‘It’s good to have competition, though, it pushes you, it pushes them and it makes the squad stronger.

‘I would say me and Yassin are different players.

‘We both look to go forward and are both fairly quick but I think people are always different in life and that is the same in football as well.

‘I do like to get forward and hopefully this season that is what I will be doing.

‘I should have scored myself with a back-post header at Bognor after a good ball from Johnny (Ertl) in the first half. I should have converted really.

‘I tried giving the keeper the eyes, normally you expect it to go across the goal and I pulled it a little bit too much.

‘But hopefully I will get plenty more of those opportunities this season.’

East is expected to once again be given the chance to show his right-back credentials against Charlton on Saturday.

It was promising midfielder Nick Awford in an unfamiliar role who replaced Moutaouakil after 62 minutes of the Braintree fixture.

With Sonny Bradley returning from a slight hip flexor injury, there will inevitably be defensive alterations as Guy Whittingham seeks to rotate his squad in their next fixture.

And East is pleased with how his pre-season fortunes are shaping up following his summer switch.

He added: ‘I am satisfied with how I have done so far and think I have put a good account of myself across.

‘I still think there is a lot more to show and to come – hopefully I can bring that to the table.

‘Pre-season is about getting fit and at the same time you have got to show you are capable and are a good player.

‘You cannot just sit in at right-back and do your defensive duty. Even if you are not an attacking full-back – which I like to think I am – I think you have still got to try to get fitness out of it.’